PEORIA, Ill. — Thanksgiving is typically the holiday where people celebrate family and togetherness, and after more than six decades Peoria’s South Side Mission is making sure that’s still the case.
The non-profit organization gathered hundreds of volunteers on Thanksgiving, packed and shipped out over three thousand meals to community members that needed it most.
“We have just delivered about 3,500 meals in our community to those that are homebound and for those that are just needing some assistance with food on Thanksgiving,” said Craig Williams, executive director.
Williams said after shipping out the meals, many went to elderly community members and veterans, he said over a hundred more people in the area gathered inside the Mission to enjoy a community dinner put on by its volunteers.
“We have families that have been around South Side Mission for many years,” Williams said. “So it’s a fellowship, it’s a time for families to come together that maybe couldn’t do it anywhere or didn’t do it at home.”
One of the families included Harold Clayton’s who said he’s been going to the Mission for over 20 years.
“I grew up coming to the Mission with my parents my mom and my family,” Clayton said.
Clayton said he’s proud the Mission is still serving the community as it did when he was a child.
“This is one of the best things down here on the south end and they sure feed a lot of people and it helps it really does down here,” Clayton said.
He also said he’s grateful the Mission provides food for the soul in addition to the stomach.
“It helps me in my head and it helps me in my heart … and everyone needs a prayer,” Clayton said.